Over the last few months we've put a lot of work into our new Web site—there's still a lot more to come.
Surf around the site, get your feet wet, and let us know what you think by commenting on this post.
To get you started, here are a few pointers on what you'll find:
- Obviously, we've redesigned! Inspired by the bold tabloid remake on the print side, we've gone for a look that presents our news and stories so that they make a direct and immediate connection with the reader. Fonts, colors and presentation (including an emphasis on great illustration) are all meant to bring our Web site as close as possible to the experience of reading the newspaper, while still offering a distinctly Webby product (more on that below!).
- The new Observer is publishing daily online—which means more of the coverage you expect from The Observer each Wednesday morning: Media, Politics, Real Estate, Society, Culture, Reviews and Opinion, all week long.
- In honor of the paper's coming 20th Anniversary, we've opened up (and cleaned up) our digital archives, which date back to 1997. All the content has been organized so that you can find it easily. What's more, we'll be periodically dipping into our Dead Tree Archives—the giant bound books of our old print editions—to bring you digitized versions of old favorites. With this relaunch, we're offering the first installment of Candace Bushnel's legendary Sex and the City column, which we'll keep bringing you weekly through most of 2007.
- We've always been a paper about New York conversations; now, we're bringing that to the forefront by offering readers more ways to speak to each other and to us. All stories are open to comments (though you must register once—for free!—to join in). That means our articles, blogs, reviews, and most other content on the site will explicitly invite you into the conversation we're curating here.
- We're not obsessed with organization, but our new site has cleaned up its act quite a lot in that department. We're now offering real homepages for each of our major coverage areas: Politics, Media, Arts & Culture, Real Estate, The City, and Opinion, that combine our weekly content with fresh daily coverage.
- And we're not total control freaks: Almost everywhere on the site now you will be able to organize our coverage according to popularity and timeliness, in addition to the way we present it ourselves. Throughout the site, you'll find places where you, our readers, determine the content: "tag clouds" bring forward the topics you're reading about the most in each of our major coverage areas, and on our homepage, "Observed Today," brings you (thanks to the great talents of illustrator Barry Blitt) face to face with the people our readers are reading about the most. (The more popular they are, the bigger their heads get, of course.)
- And we're offering lots of ways for you to keep up with us—almost every view of the site carries an RSS feed; subscribe to them, or to one of our targeted email newsletters, and stay on top of what we're writing in exactly the areas that interest you.
- New article tools (well beyond "printer-friendly version"!) give you lots of new ways to share Observer stories using social networking sites like del.icio.us and user-ranking news sites like Digg.
- Perhaps most importantly, though, this new site is a platform for the Observer's ongoing development on the Web. Look for site improvements, new editorial features, interactive tools, and blogs on a constant basis as our 20th year unfolds.
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